WEST Coast recruit Jack Redden says he is four to six weeks away from returning to full training, and is desperate to be fit to face his old side the Brisbane Lions in round one.
Redden's first pre-season at the Eagles has been hampered by an ongoing adductor problem.
He first had surgery on the issue last August but after starting this pre-season on light duties he required further surgery to fix the problem.
Redden told the Eagles' website he was confident that he would be back with the main group in February.
"I'm on the mend," Redden said.
"West Coast has been very good. They've been proactive about my rehab and sending me to different specialists to find out what's wrong and now we are on top of it.
"I think I am about four to six weeks off full training."
Redden is unlikely to be fit in time for the Eagles' first NAB Challenge match on February 21 against Adelaide at Unley Oval.
The Eagles' last two pre-season games are on March 3 against Gold Coast and March 13 against Essendon.
Redden said he was desperate to face his former teammates in round one when West Coast hosts the Lions to open the season proper on March 27.
"I was good mates with Tommy Rockliff and he's a bit of a chatter, so I'm sure he will be saying a few words," Redden said.
"He's a bit of a turbo on the field. I was also good mates with Dayne Beams, so I'm sure they'll get around me.
"Hopefully we have a win and there won't be much talk from that side."
Redden played 129 matches over seven seasons in Brisbane.
During his time in rehab he has been studying the Eagles' game-plan, and has been a keen observer of training from the sidelines in the past couple of weeks.
"It has been a good opportunity to get my head around the education, sit down with the coaches and work out the game plan and my role," Redden said.
"Eventually when I come into training I will be able to slot in and pick things up pretty quickly.
"The team is going really well.
"Since I've been involved in the AFL it's pretty rare to get all the boys on the track at this time of the year. Usually there are a few in rehab and there are a few injuries lingering.
"The boys are training really well. The training standards have been awesome. It's impressive to watch."
Redden, Dom Sheed (knee), Damien Cavka (foot) and Alec Waterman (glandular fever) were the only squad members absent from the Eagles' main session on Wednesday.